AG Sessions Recipe for Public Health Disaster

AG Sessions Recipe for Public Health Disaster

By Terri Lewis, PhD.

Jeff Sessions has decided that he has the answer to the opioid crisis. His solution: Take two Bufferin and smoke fewer joints. “I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids,” Sessions said Wednesday as he touted the Trump administration’s efforts to combat drug abuse and trafficking. “People need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little.”

Terri Lewis, PhD

Before I absolutely ‘go off’ on this advice and the conflations emanating from our USDOJ, let’s review the messaging coming out of Attorney General Jeff Sessions pronouncements.

  1. Everything old is new again. “Just say NO” didn’t work the first time so let’s dust it off and repurpose it. It requires nothing from government, assigns all risks to the population, and creates a mechanism for conducting stepped up enforcement activities.
  2. Drugs are bad. The opioid epidemic is a personal failing by many Americans who cannot say no to drugs. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and “marijuana is a gateway to the use of other drugs.”
  3. Doctors prescribe too many opiates. “We think doctors are just prescribing too many,” citing that “2017 saw a seven percent decline in opioid prescriptions, and my goal in 2018 is to see a further decline.”
  4. Patients lack will power and should suffer through pain to prevent addiction. The Sessions solution? More Bufferin, less marijuana, fewer prescriptions. “Sometimes you just need to take two Bufferin or something and go to bed.” According to Sessions, “Opioids have become so addictive that 80% of heroin addictions begin with prescriptions.”

It is frankly stunning that the USDOJ is led by an individual who is so woefully uninformed, blinded by his own willful ignorance, who surrounds himself with ‘experts’ who are equally as blinded to scientific practices, and who denies evidence derived from population analytics. Moreover, it is even more stunning that we as a public put up with this nonsense and aren’t rolling up to the doors of the Drug Enforcement Administration with pitchforks and torches. Let’s examine what AG Session has failed to learn.

  1. On June 24, 1982, President Ronald Reagan issued one of the most devastating executive orders of the 20th century when he pronounced, “We must mobilize all our forces to stop the flow of drugs into this country” and to “brand drugs such as marijuana exactly for what they are—dangerous,” he said, announcing his own War on Drugs. While eager to connect Trump’s tenure to the Reagan legacy, in point of fact, “this War on Drugs” has been a miserable failure from its’ inception as it was rooted in racism, and targeted the control of black urban neighborhoods in an era of agitation for civil rights. While hooking the Trump initiatives to Nancy Reagan’s baby may excite the Trump base, the building evidence illustrates that the restriction of prescriptions has virtually no impact on reducing the presence of illicit drugs that are leading to the untimely deaths of Americans. The rate of addiction per 100,000 is roughly the same today as it was during the Reagan administration. By the year 2000, the use of drugs remained steady but incarceration of minorities, particularly black Americans increased condemning an entire generation.  AG Session would have us return to these good old days under the guise of law enforcement coupled with treatment as he makes good on his political promises to private prisons to keep their beds filled through increased law enforcement for offenses that would be better served through community based and supported treatment.
  2. Cannabis is emerging as a reasonable and safe solution for some where precautions and user education are supported.  In 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) noted that the passage of marijuana laws has lowered rates of prescription opioids in legalized states and that the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances. In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a meta-analysis that suggested moderate levels of evidence suggest that cannabis can be a helpful tool to combat chronic pain and spasticity. Stephen Dahmer, MD, in an article for Pain News Network (February 7, 2018) suggests that the evidence for the use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain is strong and growing exponentially. In December 2017, HelloMD published findings that demonstrated 81% percent of patients prefer marijuana over opiates, while 97% said cannabis has helped them to decrease their reliance on opiates. Good people do use medical marijuana as evidenced by 12 year old Alexis Bortell is now suing AG Sessions for the right to apply this material to her regimen of care for epilepsy and to travel freely while using this as a medication.
  3. Kratom, recently declared by FDA to have properties akin to opioids, is also in the gunsights of Jeff Sessions DEA for rescheduling as a schedule 1 drug for which there is no evidence of medical use. This week, nine scientists from the fields of chemistry, pharmacy, and behavioral science, who study the mitragynine and 7- hydroxymitagynine, compounds found in this plant issued a letter stating that the current body of credible research on the actual effects of kratom demonstrates that it is not dangerously addictive, nor is it similar to “narcotics like opioids” with respect to “addiction” and “death” as stated by the FDA in its November 14th Kratom Advisory. Dr. Jeff Fudin, further elucidated the open questions involving the pharmacologic components of Kratom and its effect on the human body in a widely shared blog posting found at this link: http://paindr.com/kratom-save-em-bait-em-or-crate-em/.  Meanwhile, the 44 deaths (polypharmacy, suicides) that Dr. Scott Gottlieb used to raise alarm bells about the dangerous use or abuse of this plant material are thoroughly described by Nick Wing who requested the details of these deaths through a FOIA and who has shared the complexities of each here on his twitter feed @nickpwing and through his HuffPost piece located at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kratom-deaths-fda_us_5a7a3549e4b07af4e81eda8b. Clearly, these deaths are associated with multiple complexities that we can recognize as associated with a broad range of risky behaviors and compromised mental health. What we can say about Kratom in these 44 instances is that ‘it’s just not that simple.’
  4. All drugs have risks. That is the purpose of assessing the risk of harm versus the potential benefits use of any drug might bring to the user. Alcohol routinely kills more people than opiates, not to mention the number of serious injuries caused by drunk drivers that do not result in death but do cause lifetime injuries to themselves or others that result disability and the need for long term pain management. Similar trends are seen in mortality associated with smoking deaths as illustrated at this link- http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsa1211127.  Risk benefit analysis for alcohol and cigarettes have balanced the risk of harms against the financial gain to local tax revenue streams, and the personal enjoyments of the population to far greater negative effect than that associated with prescription opiates.
  5. The prescribing of opiates has significantly trended downward since 2011 across all systems while the use of illicit street drugs – particularly heroin, carfentanyl, and heroin laced with have exponentially increased creating chaos in our communities. Restricting the distribution of opiates for legitimate medical purposes has created a climate of fear among prescribing physicians and the patients they serve whose complex illnesses can be reasonably and positively affected by access to legally prescribed opiate medications.  Moreover, restricting the issuance of opiates is having the effect of influencing deaths from polypharmacy and medication roulette as physicians and patients search for alternatives to opiates that are increasingly prescribed off label without clinical trials. This increases rather than decreases patient vulnerabilities. Suicides across our systems of health care are increasing and patients experiencing involuntary discontinuance and subsequent destabilization now openly speak of their plan for suicide by various means. In the VA system alone, opiate prescribing has reduced by 47% even as suicides (but not overdoses) have increased.
  6. Patient protections are reducing as torte reform strips the rights of patients who experience nearly 400,000 iatrogenic injuries annually through encounters with our medical system. Many of these events yield catastrophic lifetime injuries for which there will be coping required, without cure.  While hospitals, insurers, and physicians are shielded from responsibility, these patients are vulnerable to reinjury from a system designed to protect doctors from their actions without affording protection to patients. Those who survive these processes are not weak of mind or heart – they are amazing people who are motivated to continue to work for their families, regain their familial roles and responsibilities, and reassert their community obligations.  After every other method has failed, it is the palliation afforded through medications such as opiates that help them to continue to assert their participation in society. AG Sessions is dead wrong when he describes this population of resilient users as “weak-willed.”  These are in fact, people who have chosen to persist in the face of incredible and long odds at great expense to themselves, their families, and their communities.

I do not know where AG Sessions obtained his fake doctor degree or how it is that he justifies in his own mind that he has the right to make pronouncements about the health and safety of the sickest among us, the medications that they rely on to cope with their days, or the moral and spiritual stock of Americans.  This man is using the weapons of his office to impose his ill-informed beliefs upon the sickest of Americans through the use of diversion strike teams, the weaponization of personal medical data, warrantless searches, and the destabilization of physician and pharmacy practices across the nation.  This will do little or nothing to address the problem of illegal trade in street drugs, a fact for which there is already clear evidence.  It will cause harm to the health care system and to the patients who are served (or not) in their communities. Attacking the problems of stigma begins by educating policy makers in collaboration with members of the community and the address of social structures that prop up unhealthy and risky behaviors.

The decision to seek care through the method that works best for you and your family, within a safe physician and patient prescribing relationship and the resources that are available to you is not a moral judgment to be regulated.  I challenge AG Sessions to check his biases, open his brain to scientific applications, and to seek wiser counsel than he is getting from the yes men and women he has surrounded himself with.  I also challenge members of Congress, state legislatures, and community leaders to stop drinking the poison that is being spewed by political action groups.  The pressure to ‘do something, anything’ is pronounced and supported by campaign contributions, special interest groups, and the compelling stories of those who have lost loved ones to the opiate wars.  But we must remain clear headed as we work to identify the community causes of this problem and the solutions that will move us forward.  At the end of the day, the problem of drug utilization and regulation is a complex problem with many interactive features rooted in personal characteristics, political ideologies, and community resources and values.

It’s bigger than take two Bufferin and go to bed. We really can do better than this. We must do better than this. Let’s try.

References

Correspondence to Kellyanne Conway and Robert Patterson Acting Administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration, February 8, 2018. Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/9ba5da_086cf409644547d9b4df864f707e0d92.pdf

Thun, M.J., Carter, B.D., Feskanich, D., Freedman, N.D. Prentice, R., Lopez, A.D. Hartge, P. & Susan M. Gapstur, S.M.  (2013). 50-Year Trends in Smoking-Related Mortality in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsa1211127

Dahmer, S. (2018, February 7). Cannabis Is Compassionate, Not a Conundrum. Pain News Network. Retrieved from https://www.painmedicinenews.com/Commentary/Article/02-18/When-Used-Correctly-Medical-Cannabis-Is-Compassionate-Not-a-Conundrum/46887?sub=3039A8CB8B7D671EA622F79177F1B11FA4193EF8199883FBF1EE18C47A775A&enl=true

Fudin, J. Kratom, Save ‘em, Bait ‘em, or Crate ‘emPainDr.com  http://paindr.com/kratom-save-em-bait-em-or-crate-em/

Boodman, E. (2018, 02-08). FDA calls kratom an ‘opioid’ and warns against using the supplement. State News online. Retrieved from https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/06/kratom-opioid-fda/

Slatery, D. (2018, 02-09). Patients should suffer through pain to prevent addiction, The Day: Nation/World News online.  Retrieved from http://www.theday.com/article/20180208/NWS13/180209420/

Marijuana. NIDA.gov, (2017). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug

Wing, N.P. (2018, 02-08). FDA Releases Kratom Death Data, Undermines Its Own Claims About Drug’s Deadly Harms. Huffington Post online Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kratom-deaths-fda_us_5a7a3549e4b07af4e81eda8b

Whiting PF, Wolff RF, Deshpande S, Di Nisio M, Duffy S, Hernandez AV, Keurentjes JC, Lang S, Misso K, Ryder S, Schmidlkofer S, Westwood M, Kleijnen J. Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2015;313(24):2456–2473. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6358

Dr. Terri Lewis is a rehabilitation educator, clinician and researcher who specializes in chronic pain and is a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report. 

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Authored by: Terri A Lewis, PhD.

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chris

I’m a pain patient from 1988-2014 & 2004 to present, have 9 diagnosed problems in all my spine. I was treated properly for 28 years & then 1-1/2 yrs of HELL I feel at risk of dying any time. I was/am in constant pain, couldn’t eat, lost 42lbs, so weak ,collapsing, caught Pneumonia, Maybe cancer, now Hormone levels out of wack. Drs want biopsies from prostate. I’m being Doctored to Death, Drs want to TREAT SYMPTOMS OF UNDER MEDICATION !
I am Sick of ALL THIS!
After I got Assaulted & Recording Studio Stolen in 1988, I had 7 attorneys,all quit but one settled a case. I studied Law during 12 yrs of litigation. I had to represent myself to keep the cases alive & not Dismissed.
I am ready to file Lawsuits on Jeff Sessions & the DEA, a couple of Drs & DOES 1-1000. Anyone can represent themselves & file a Lawsuit. There are Rules of Court & Statutes of limitations, It is Time consuming but now I’m House Bound as many R, we have time. It is some Work but anyone of average intelligence can type out the Complaint & since I’m on Disability & Low income as many R, I can File Legal Documents for FREE! I might have a consultation with a lawyer & get some good advice & find help online. I have done most all of my own legal work since then & had 14 out of 16 positive outcomes !
Take Dr. Forrest Tennant’s advice & COMPLAIN! To the Medical Board, Insurance, & YOU CAN SUE !: Doctors & the Fed Government or Anyone ! It’s Not That Difficult, Use spell correct, Find a copy of a Filing, You can research online. I had to go to the Law Libraries in LA area & spend hrs looking for any clues. Now I do a weeks worth of research in a few minutes! My Message To All Fellow Pain Patients, TELL YOUR STORY TO A JUDGE ! SUE Jeff Sessions & the DEA for: Intimidation,,violation of RICO Act (Racketeering,Intimidation,Corruption, Organized Crime). He Threatens ALL Pain Doctors To Stop Treating Patients with Pain Medicine? OR ELSE They’re threatened with RAIDS, Arrest, Revoke their License ! INTIMIDATION,& Pharmacies Too l. Forcing Drs to Cause Pain & Suffering & More Deaths Due to: Heart Attack, Stroke, Seizure, Hormonal Imbalance &Thoughts of Suicide.Or take Heroin & OD, is it China/fenanyl? or Affgan brought 2U by military(More$ in H) Marketing .

Mark Ibsen MD

Another item:
Erosion of trust in the medical
Profession by attacking doctors who treat patients in pain-
And 80% of visits To a doctor are for pain.

Scott michaels

Dear Terri
Thanks for all you do. As you know pain patients are 40 million strong that need high dose opioid TREATMENT and an additional 60 million in chronic pain.
Is there any way you can draft a letter to the highest powers on both sides and stress we can swing the vote!. We will not vote party, we will vote EMPATHY. WHETHER STATE REPS, SENATORS OR THE PRESIDENT. IF THEY SEE ENOUGH OF OUR STORIES AND LET THEM KNOW WERE LARGER THEN MOST UNIONS COMBINED AND WE WILL O LY SUPPORT CANDIDATES THAT SUPPORT TREATING PATIENTS WITH MODERATE TO SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN , POST OP PAIN AND ACCUTE PAIN WITH OPIOID MEDICATION AS IT IS THE ONLY TRUE GOLD STANDARD AVAILABLE TODAY.
JUNKIES AND ADDICTS CAN GET THIER HELP FROM HEROIN AND ILLEGAL FENTANYL AS THEY WISH, BUT WERE THE TAX PAYING VOTERS THAT ARE SUFFERING AND BEING PUNISHED BECAUSE OF THIER BEHAVIORS. GET THE DEA OUT OF OUR DRS OFFICE AND LET THEM PRACTICE AND PRESCRIBE OPIPID MEDICATION AS NEEDED. NOT AS DEMANDED BY AN INSURANCE COMPANY OR A POLICE AGENCY. THEY CONTINUE TO ATTACK THE PATIENTS AND GOOD DRS INSTEAD OF THR CRIMINALS AND WE WONT TAKE IT ANY MORE.
HECK WE WOULD ALL VOTE FOR YOU IF YOU RAN, SAME WITH DR TENNENT AND PHARMACIST STEVE.. YOU 3 ARE GREAT PEOPLE IN UNDERSTANIGNG PAIN. WHILE JEFF SESSIONS IS A MEN IN BLACK LITTLE WORM.

Sandy Auriene Sullivan

Ridgid Principles “fighting tyranny…fighting for our freedoms…being selfless in this war, for a better future for our children.” Dude, I’m too sick for all that and the sovereign citizen argument doesn’t hold an ounce of water. Easier to move to a truly *FREE* English speaking nation. Though you are correct about the way they handled marijuana and machine guns, the latter no one said anything about because the crooks were the ones with the machine guns and it was an ugly time in history. We are better off without *THOSE* weapons on the street. The tax stamp was a scam; you are spot on about how they just didn’t print the stamps therefore no one could get them. What you missed was this – during the Nixon administration to counter the Civils Rights Act they created the schedule. Where marijuana was put in sch I -no medical use [it was believed to be a drug used only or predominantly by the black community therefore it hurt them and it did. It decimated their communities; ever see the DEA tear apart a house? They rip everything out including the WALLS . Meth and cocaine are schedule II! Nixon created the monster along with a lot of propaganda; that gave birth to the modern DEA as we know it today. Far too powerful, looking for work as they no longer have much low hanging fruit – harder to prosecute MJ users today. Just as it became harder to prosecute alcohol drinkers during prohibition eventually ending after over half the states created their own laws. But Im far too sick and love my kids too much to do war with my government. I’d rather MOVE first. I’d move back to Australia or to Mexico or somewhere in the EU. We have lots of guns on the street and kids dying daily in their schools so forgive this ‘sharp shooter’ from having ‘feels’ over guns that have almost no restrictions. [I do shoot at a range; find it relieves stress; I won’t own as a CPP it’s just too risky. I’d rather MOVE] This is just as much of a political issue as it is a medical one I grant you that but ever hear of the Velvet Revolution? Some have been won without the other side being violent. But the law as it stands in the US right now – the DEA isn’t supposed to come between doctor and patient. Use the law to fix the problem. Brute force does nothing but maim more people. It’s impossible to fight a drone for starters! You’d never see it. Further an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. There are better ways of working this – but first we must remember we are a NATION of people who can do amazing things when we come together AS ONE. FDA hearings the other week have open comments; everyone and their family need to leave a comment. Link is at the article “Sound of One… Read more »

Kris

What they don’t think about is people who need pain killers to live a life as closely to normal with a opioid. Not all people use drugs or abuse them.

Sandy Auriene Sullivan

Susan Domokos,

Don’t feel bad about being drug tested every *3 Mos*; I get tested every month – sometimes twice a month! No criminal record, no record of abuse, been on a stable dose of oxycodone for a decade [off/on because reasons…for the doc or insurance].

I see the doctor twice a month and have cortisone or nerve cauterization. Im sorry about fentanyl brain, Im sure my brain suffered when the patch leaked on me; dropping 72hrs of medication into me in 3hrs. No narcan was administered as they didn’t even *know* it was synthetic and doesn’t show up like the other opiates in a UA. That was 05 when they had to reformulate and were sued by the families of the dead. I couldn’t join; I survived.

Today I take zubsolv; after trying very hard to have 90mme ‘work’ for me. The best thing that can be said for it is it’s better than nothing at all or too low of a dose.

Though, it was a decision that we did as a family as we did not want any sort of ‘addict’ label put on me; at least here in Florida we have more and more pain patients opting for it because the opiate still helps pain; and we do not have euphoria from our medications – naloxone prevents euphoria too.

We made sure that medical records reflected the reason why ‘opiate dependence – uncomplicated’ [for insurance, right to TRY for medically disabled] and at least in Florida they don’t care now about MJ being in the UA; even while waiting for one’s state card.

If your doctor’s head nurse is of any use; talk to him/her about the doctor’s opinion [mine rather not know…. the nurse however that does the testing per CDC recommendations doesn’t list it for any CPP UA – yes the CDC told pain docs to *ignore* MJ in UA from CPPs but that was either just before or just after change of administration.

[Im sorry for what they did to you; cold turkey off of fentanyl is murderous; I did it on my own after the leak but at least was allowed another opiate. Women are at significantly higher risks of heart attack going cold turkey. I did a cold turkey month in September while frustrated by everything. My doctor chewed me out as he knows it could kill but as I told him, I taper’ed before stopping. ]

Never forget how strong you are to come off of Fentanyl with or without help. It is so difficult since it is so strong.

Sandy Auriene Sullivan

Sessions is so far out of the loop he rec’ed a drug brand that isn’t even on the market any longer. Not as ‘Bufferin’ – it’s not been ‘Bufferin’ for 20 years or more. It’s Dr Reddy’s and made in India. Sessions is a lawyer, NOT a doctor. He has no business telling *anyone* what they should and should not take. It’s illegal to practice medicine without a license. Even the DEA is *not* supposed to interfere between patient and doctor. As for drugs the FDA approves? It’s one reason I prefer my medications have somewhat of a past. The FDA doesn’t test new drugs. The process is thus; the drug goes through the trial stages – the manufacturer sends that information to the FDA, the FDA goes over the material and approves or not. Only so called ‘narcotics’ – new formulations and newer drugs that are used in other countries are not getting approved right now. [yes, the drug manufacturer is the one who tells the FDA how ‘safe’ their drug IS based on their ‘trials’ – which can be faulty; the FDA went after lyrica after it had approved it because the information in the trial paperwork showed that it didn’t work that well at all. Less than neurontin; lyrica is terribly habit forming – and while narcotic is latin for ‘habit forming’ they do not list these drugs or any other that requires a taper as a ‘narcotic’ – only if it’s associated with illegal drugs. Tho lyrica is a street drug today; why? I don’t know. Guess a high is found with it. But hey that’s a mom drug according to the commercials – *heavy sarcasm*] The FDA has been gutted and politicized to the point it can no longer be relied upon to approve safe medications and keep our food supply safe as well. [how many times has e-coli been found in juice and spinach for example?] Sessions has zero right opening his mouth as head of the DOJ on how we should be treated by our doctors. As for heroin hitting the streets? Of course the government is aware. Back in 2011 many of us pain patients were concerned about the rise in heroin on the streets blowing back onto us as it did. What changed in 2010-2011? We ‘officially’ left Afghanistan at the time. And like every other ‘war’ we’ve ever been involved in; whatever drug is most prolific in the region ends up hitting US streets in large numbers. The CIA admitted as much in open court with regard to crack cocaine and Los Angeles County in the late 80s early 90s. Where did we leave? South and Central America. When I heard our troops were guarding poppy crops in Afghanistan around 05-06 or so. [with pics and from people who had to do it] I knew our streets were going to get flooded and here we are… heroin epidemic. It’s my personal theory this is how we ‘fund’ certain operations by… Read more »

Add in Neurotin, Lyrica to the Xanax, Cymbalta ADDICTIVE HIGHLY SIDE EFFECT RIDDLED DRUGS that are being used off label. Each 1 has been a ER A-Fib trip for me. Please stop using the word Chronic Pain, it is the wrong word! INTRACTABLE PAIN is the correct one as it has not treatable medication or treatment that will treat it. Only a Opioid will. Cymbalta is the new OA drug, the others are all FDA Black Boxed for GI/Heart. Well they ruined my GI track, so aspirin or any anti inflamatory is not takable. Tylenol is not strong enough for OA/OP/FMS/Spinal Degeneration, Stenosis/Gastropresis/Perpherial Neuropathy. To top that I’m Hypo Thyroid with an Enlarged Heart tiny Mitral Valve leak. I’m nearly 70, see 4 Specialist. I refuse to be treated like a criminal and have my Constitutional Rights violated by an IDIOT who is NOT a medical doctor. Congress has exceeded it’s Constitutional rights in interfereing in doctor/patient care. FDA has placed on the market very dangeous drugs that it just Black Boxes or Flags instead of removing. Doctors can’t keep up with every drug they do this to as there are to many, the newer the drug the more likely it is to end up on that list. Very little is being done to address the ILLEGAL drugs which cause the majority of OD’s especially when taken with Booze. Nor address the under lying mental health issues of users. 19 trips thru Rehab should tell you a person has a mental health issue. Then you have people on very dangerous combos of Physce drugs with a Opioid and you create a OD condition. Richard Petty is a prime example, trying to perform on a broken hip, on a deadly combo of of addictive drugs with a opioid added in. Opioid gets the blame.

Bruce Stewart

‘Let’s try’. Let’s try what? That dummy AG is going to have a change of heart because of your brilliant article? And it IS brilliant, there’s no doubt you covered the issue like a glove. Unless there’s a class action lawsuit from relatives who have had their loved ones commit suicide over this, or chronic pain patients to form a consortium able to DEMONSTRATE our quandary, we will remain stuck in the mud. The article serves as a reminder of how feeble this movement is, because nobody has gotten any time allotted to testify in front of congress. Or anywhere else. We can’t get 10 people to step up as a group. It’s ridiculous and we’re gonna die because of this. WE NEED ORGANIZATION!!! Help us, Terri, please!!!!!

Barbara Thurman

This is wrong most chronic pain patients do not abuse, risk loosing what relief there is. There is no pain free opioid gives some quality of life so can have some sort of life. How unfair for the ones of us who have never abused and we get thrown under the bus. There will always be those who abuse and will find in street and there will be a few bad Doctors. Most Doctors don’t want people in pain but so afraid of CDC and paper work won’t give. You know and I know opioid is not biggest crisis alcohol is but guess ok to kill self that way and life time health issues. Just so wrong to let people suffer and there will be suicides when people can’t take pain anymore guess that is ok too.

Robert Ivan

Do you honestly believe they are that ignorant to the plight of citizens who suffer from continuous retractable pain?

Do you honestly believe they are not aware of the massive influx of illegal Heroin and Fentanyl since the CDC guidelines were put in place?

Our representatives in government know exactly what they are doing. They are the most corrupt group of “The People’s Employees” in our country’s history.

Jill

Sincere thank you, Dr. Lewis for your extensive and informative article. But it just brings me to tears. This withholding of meds by our government to patients who need them is just horrifying. I have to have a spine surgery I don’t want because it’s so important to EVERYONE else that I get off the pain meds that work so well for me. I was told for years this surgery wouldn’t help my back pain, now all of a sudden it’s going to work. Well, there’s a 50/50 chance it might. Total crapshoot. So go through pain, financial hardship, and hope I don’t come out worse for a shot in the dark. For myself and all of CPP going through this dark time, I’m just so sad.

Andrea Anderson

Terri, fantastic! I mean, out-of-this-world, fantastic. Thank you for saying what we are all thinking, and doing so in such an eloquent and well-organized manner. I will be sharing and using abundantly.

Kat Koe

Thank you for your excellent article and for sending it to the folks that we hope will read it.

I’ve been asking the same question all along, where did the government get it’s MD license?? I just don’t get it; I do but I don’t like it.

There needs to be a solution to protect patients from lawmakers making healthcare decisions. Doctors and pharmacists have gone to medical school for years with extra years of schooling for specialties. AG Sessions needs to get out of our doctors office and let us have a life and not be bedridden. It goes to show that Mr. Sessions does not have the medical school training and he lacks the understanding of pain and pain mgmt.

Mr. Sessions please tell me you understand how it feels to have an ice pick jammed in your face, a hot iron stuck on it as if my face had been doused with gasoline and lit on fire, a lightening rod sending electrical pulses with burning, constant pain to my face as well. These very painful sensations occur at the same time, 24/7/365 to the left side of my face, encompassing my forehead, eye, nose, cheek, teeth, gums, tongue and chin. It hurts to eat on the left side, unable to enjoy a windy day and I need to keep my face covered by wearing a scarf whenever there’s slightest breeze outdoors, even if it’s 100°. Mr. Session’s, you take two bufferen, go to bed, and let me know how you feel in the morning, if you survive until then.

Well congratulations Mr.President. Sessions you found a purpose in life! Taking away quality of life from people with severe chronic pain! I hope you feel proud about yourself!!

Wanita1

Nancy Wilson-I looked for info about Jeff sessions son dying of heroin od and couldn’t find anything-do you have a link?

Kel b

Thank you Dr Lewis for writing this out the way you did! Its perfect!
Everyone forward this “article”, if Dr Lewis doesn’t mind?? Forward to every media avenue you can think of or find.
Everyone needs to read this!!!!! Media, drs, law enforcement, every govt office/official, etc. They need to read this over n over until they have it memorized..
Thank you again!!

Nancy Wilson

I am sorry that Jeff Sessions son died of heroin overdose, but please stop taking it out on opioid medication, cannabis and us chronic pain patients that are dependent on them to live a quality of life. What about all the deaths from suicide because of cuts to medications? He should not be able to influence any decision due to his personal bias.

Cymbalta was the sister drug of Prozac, Eli Lilly paid out big money for the lawsuits presented to Lilly for the complications people experienced from Prozac and big phamacutical decided they where not done, so what do they do they introduce cymbalta another big money medication for Lilly that’s problimatic.

Bunny Dorf

I think mr. Sessions is absolutely wrong the majority of people who are in pain have chronic pain aspirin does not help chronic pain I have chronic pain I am 70 years old and I have to stand behind a chair everyday 10 12 hours a day without my prescription of my opioids I would not make it to work nor would I be able to handle it and I’m not a drug abuser

I would take a opiat withdraw any day compared to the withdraw I took from a years use of 60 mgs of cymbalta 4 1 year, I was told back in 2013 by my doctor that it would be ok to stop taking, he is no longer my physician, the high frequency shocks to the head when you were ready to fall asleep and the nightmares were like real 5 nights of that 4 people comitted suicide in the testing of that drug in the Lilly testing center back in 2004 , one girl 19 years old hung her self in the bathroom in the facilities of Eli Lilly during a 3 month trial testing on human patients 6 months later the FDA released the drug with gold standards for a cure for neurological pain and depression, saratonin blocker inhibitors will not be on the market by 2030 boy the phamacutical industry made billions of dollars on those kinds of drugs and now there going to walk away because the research on the human brain is very complicated and to think the FDA let this shit on the market.

Christy Talley

Never in my life have I ever thought of suicide. I wAs recently diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Spinal Stenosis as well as having arthritis in my spine. After living day after day with agonizing pain and no relief, it was only then that suicide became an option to me. I thank God for giving me the strength to choose life, but my heart breaks for all of those people out there that didn’t make the same choice because of the fear of thinking they would have to live the rest of their lives in pain. We are judged, ignored, and labeled unfairly. I did nothing to cause the diseases I have. I did not choose this life. I should be able to choose any treatment that is available to me if it brings me some relief of the pain I suffer.

David Jahn

I’m sitting in my wife’s hospital room at a major hospital here in Florida watching her go through withdrawals because the doctors here cannot make up their minds. My wife has been on her pain medication regiment for just over eight years. She suffers from AVN, Crohn’s disease, lower degenerative back disease, has two hip replacements, both knees redone. She sees a great pain management doctor, and these people will not call him to verify her meds. They can clearly see through the system she is prescribed these meds. Her nurse is calling any and all doctors to try and help her. I would like for Mr. Sessions to take her place for 24 hours.

Tammy Simpson

Dear Mr. Sessions. I issue a challenge to you to walk a mile in my shoes. Oh wait! Even if you could inhabit the body I’ve got, you couldn’t walk that mile because I’m so physically incapacitated by severe spinal pain from botched surgeries and my own physical makeup and by joint pain from lupus, that I can’t walk a mile period! I’m allergic to aspirin and can’t take NSAIDs because I’ve had gastric bypass and have a history or ulovers. So, I have been using Kratom for 2 years to combat my pain. Take that away, as you’ve taken away my doctor’s right to treat me with opiates and what does that leave. Yeah, it leaves me in crippling pain! Guess, I’ll just be a good little peon and die. Not flippin likely. There are millions of people just like me. We vote, and we will fight back! Our lives don’t mean anything to you because you’ll never have to worry about medical care. We do! Also, did I mention we vote?

Therese LeDantec-Boswell

RESPONSE to: AG Sessions Recipe for Public Health Disaster, by Terri Lewis, PhD

WHY is our USAG publicly engaged in giving Medical Advice without a License in all impunity?
Is that NOT an offense prosecutable by the USDOJ?
Where is HIS boss, our POTUS, exercising the appropriate redirection and sanction for this egregious OVERSTEP beyond the purview endowed to the USAG, his employee?

Do we have an EPIDEMIC?
YES.

We have an EPIDEMIC of Federal Agencies who are BREACHING their Administrative Mandates, USURPING the legitimate mandate of OTHER Federal Agencies.
E.g., CDC VIOLATION of Administrative Law with the nefarious development of a set of 12 ‘Recommendations’ wrapped into a neat little ‘Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain’ when the FDA is the sole & EXCLUSIVE Federal Agency endowed with governance over ANY US Rx Formularies.
E.g., CMS literally weaponizing these ‘DIRTY DOZEN Recommendations’ into the full force of enforceable RULE of law governing Medicare/Medicaid Patient treatment, withOUT due process and WITHout the OPEN input of WEthePEOPLE.
E.g., Bureaus of Narcotic Enforcement sending ‘Letters’ to Practitioners accusing them of “engaging in high-risk Opioid prescribing’ as a means to ‘EDUCATED’ these Practitioners about the parameters of the CDC ‘Guideline.’

WEthePEOPLE can NO longer STAND for this USURPATION of the legitimate MANDATE conferred upon these Federal Agencies by WEthePEOPLE.

WEthePEOPLE can NO longer ALLOW the self-AGGRANDIZEMENT of these publicly APPOINTED officials who continue to TRANSGRESS the boundaries that were CLEARLY established by WEthePEOPLE.

Those in Washington MUST recognize and redress the LIFE-THREATENING consequences of these UNLAWFUL USURPATIONS of authority, because their COLLATERAL damage to WEthePEOPLE has become part of the everyday concerns of USAmericans.

WRITE your Congressman.
CALL your REPRESENTATIVES.
Make your elected STEWARDS know that you DEMAND that these ROGUE actions taken by ROGUE appointees to these Agencies gone ROGUE without the LEGITIMATE authority of WEthePEOPLE must be IMMEDIATELY sanctioned with the full force and to the FULLEST extent of the LAW.

DO YOUR JOB, STEWARDS;
-OR-
GO HOME.

TheButterflyProtocol™

Thank you Dr. Lewis! I hope that AG Jeff Sessions receives and reads your posting! He surely seems to have his head in the sand on this issue! In fact I find it difficult to believe that anyone on the hill doesn’t know someone personally who suffers from pain to some degree. I would bet at least a handful of the D.C. crowd suffer from pain themselves & likely require pain medicine to get through their tough days too! I doubt any agency is exempt from some employees who suffer from pain!
What we need is compassion and mercy! The Dr.’s need reassurance as they try to treat their patients, not BIG Government watching their pill counts on each schedule of drugs! The CDC says their recommendations are not laws, but I ask WHAT will happen to a family Dr. or even a Pain Specialist who continues treating patients who have been on > 90 mg MME for many years AND take benzodiazapams from their psychiatrist & have documentation ffor both through both Dr.’s that patient has great relief with treatment??
Will the DEA open a file on the opiate prescribing Dr. and call & scare him that he could lose prescribing rights or would the DEA come in & raid his office, trying to disputed the Dr.’s documentation of the patient’s relief & tell him it is insufficient? I am fairly positive the majority of most chronic pain patients have very thick and well documented medical records showing their desire to get back to regular life despite having permanently disabilities of some sort. Most have tried multiple medications, physical therapy, non-invasive surgeries, invasive surgeries, needing caretakers, etc., so I guess I’m asking WHAT are the Doctors scared of, specifically? If they continue drug tests, pill counts, or even monthly visits, what can be done to them legally?
Jeff Sessions says he only makes sure laws in place will be prosecuted, when talking about medical marijuana, but I don’t see what the dr.’s are scared of, specifically! We need to hear more about that to address the larger issue.
Thanks again & I look forward to hearing back from you as a Dr.
Karen Pritchett
Klp0922@ail.com
Loganville, GA

Jan

I am an INTRACTABLE PAIN PATIENT with CRPS (19 yr). Been on everything, stabilized on Fentanyl/Methadone. Now they have recalled all liquid Fentanyl patches saying they leak. Big lie. They will get it removed from every pharmacy, except perhaps hospitals for cancer patients.

I used to think the politicians were ignorant of the negative impact on the Chronic Pain Community, but I now know that this was carefully thought out and planned by our government. It is politically and FINANCIALLY motivated! We are a huge expense to them (in ways too numerous to mention here). They are happy to have us COMMIT SUICIDE to get rid of us. Dr. Josh Bloom has a great article debunking Kolodny’s lies, and he believes that this is politically and financially motivated also and is digging into it.

We all know ADDICTION is a mental health issue and the “war on drugs” will never be won because an addict will always find another substance to abuse! Plus the government will never be able to stop the illegal drugs coming across the border, through the Post Office, etc. They know this, they’ve been trying for 50 years. It’s always about the money! The Politicians know that the biggest driver of the debt is Healthcare and they will get rid of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Food Stamps (everything that keeps the poor, elderly and disabled from sliding into homelessness). They are already criminalizing the homeless. So if you are dead (because you commit suicide) or homeless, you will save the government tons of money, and that always makes them happy!

D. I. S. May

Indeed, The AG is uninformed or immoral. And I say we do not rule out immoral. I say we do not rule out sadistic and homicidal. But at the least motivated by stereotypes and biases; to keep women and people of low social standing out of the workplace.By history, the criminalization of drugs in this country was built upon racist premises; in 1914, opioids were criminalized by TREASURY in the State of California to keep Asians out of the workplace (associated with smoking opium, while laudanum was in every person’s medicine cabinet). The following year TREASURY in Floorida crimnalized cocaine, in Cocal Cola without causing especial harm to the public. I am not the only scholar to be aware of these facts. Rather cocaine was associated with people of color entering the US from the Caribbean. So, drug law sentencing still breaks down along racial lines and the single most dangerous drug on the market, alcohol, remains perfectly legal and responsibile for more deaths and disabilities than all other drugs combined. Moreover, there is NO legitimate use for alcohol. Opioids are produced endogenously and there simply is no better medication for pain. This time it is women and people of lower socioeconomic status in Treasury’s sites. The second leading behavioral cause of death in the United States is inactivity. This is promoted with television, electronic devices and by failing to treat chronic pain. Pain keeps people from moving. I know, I have chronic pain. Opioids were my last resort for dealing with the pain I have. I work out regularly, I never ever miss work; unless my pain is not covered, in which case I am unable to do either. I love my work. I am good at it and passionate about it; it is my life’s mission. Without my work, life loses much. With chronic pain my life has no meaning. My only desire would be to end my life if I could not get my pain treated. With my pain covered I am filed with reasons to live as I have many things in addition to work that I enjoy doing. And I never watch television, I do not use electronic devices beyond listening to music and email. Some online commerce. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. NO BROADCAST MEDIA. Broadcast media is the reason, in my opinion, that inactivity has become so deadly. But I simply have to wait for my hypothesis about this to receive media attention. I will be working as long as I can to get the antidote to problem published. I’ve done the work, except for the writing. It pertains to implicit broadcast bandwidth and the uses towards which it is directed. One final remark is that the opinion regarding opioids are being put forward only by people in psychiatry. People, therefore, whose office would be filled with people who are depressed, anxious and suicidal. Chronic pain is devastating emotionally. Oh, and viewed as addictions rather than as pain medication used appropriately for pain, it also… Read more »

And us chronic pain patients get bullied down the tunes again what now with Jeff Sessions talking like an ingrate.

Really? There’s not one family member with chronic pain among all our lawmakers? Or are they just coldheartedly ignoring them so they can coldheartedly ignore us?

Something has to give. I already know of chronic pain patients who have gone underground for their needed medicine. It surely is tempting.

Why, Washington, why?

Dr Lewis, Thank you for such a well written, researched article and for advocating for chronic pain patients. “These are in fact, people who have chosen to persist in the face of incredible and long odds at great expense to themselves, their families, and their communities.” It’s support like yours that helps us fight the good fight and advocate for better pain care. Jeff Sessions has no idea what it’s like to endure an iota of the pain we face. Your efforts to educate and empower are greatly appreciated!

Ibin

Jeff……you, take an aspirin and tough it out a little bit but, leave our pain management issues that cause never ending pain to our…….physicians’ educated, practical judgement.YOU have NO idea what it is like dealing continuously with lifetime, incurable pain and NO intention of even trying to alter your concept of what effective pain managemen ist. MAYBE you have a little arthritis, the occasional headache that we all get from time to time. but, if this is the United States of Americas’ “top” attorney, then we are ALL in a bad way. Jeff, you practice law, let our physicians practice medicine. You may come to see the day with disease or injury you will stick a joint up yours and inhale if it would ease the type pain our Veterans and disabled people with records of 23 years or more of beneficial use, speak for themselves If YOU, Jeff, have your spine laid open with a “corrective” surgery or surgeries, then surgical plates and screws DRIVEN into your vertebra OR you fall ill with MS or another known pain generating disaese OR possibly, you or a loved one suffer daily with Grand Mal seizures, then say……… “good people don’t smoke marijuana. YOU look into the eyes of the grieving families that have loved ones who have ended their pain…..permanently There will be a long line of people and families waiting for your new opinion on pain management……..someday, Jeff.Truth spoken.

Kathy C

Our Country is now being run by a bunch of greedy lunatics. There in no Scientific basis for any of this. Just because the Industries Fund enough pseudo Science to confuse people, it does not mean that any of those “Studies” are Evidence Based or Scientific. We now have “Alternate Facts” coined by Kelly Anne Conway herself. The Media will repeat this nonsense as if it were factual, and a gullible public will go along with it. The Deaths from this will be either under-counted or attributed to something else. We are in Post Fact America, it is about beliefs now.

Session needs to get out of the medical field and start getting back to the job he was appointed to. There are alot of more important things he should be doing, the government has so many problems he should be investigating. He doesn’t have the balls to be in the position he’s in. Just jump on the opioid bandwagon, it’s a easier task.

Juliette

Enough of GOVERNMENT IN PERSONAL HEALTH CARE.
It’s stepping on numerous constitutional rights that personal and class action lawsuits are a starting point to restructure this ongoing nightmare, death sentence being mandated to CPPS.

Kim

Just like everything esle in life, until the issue happens 2 u, u have no idea what others r going thru & u never no how u will handle that issue. I would love Mr. Sessions to deal with an illness the causes horrific pain that u can’t work or get out bed, an illness that 2 aspirins can’t help. Than let’s see if his outlook is different. I don’t wish my illness on anyone but Mr. Sessions needs a wake out call & that is the only way his attitude will change. So sad.

BETTY M.

MR SESSIONS,
I WILL MAKE THIS VERY SHORT & BRIEF.
HOPEFULLY THESE COMMENTS WILL BE READ BY YOU OR AT THE VERY LEAST THEIR CONTENT SHARED WITH YOU.

ALL COMMENTS BEFORE MINE TELLS YOU MOST, IF NOT EVERYTHING A CPP GOES THROUGH & LIVES WITH.

FURTHERMORE, I AM AS WELL A CPP. I FEEL CERTAIN MY FELLOW CPP BROTHERS & SISTERS HAVE ALREADY TOLD YOU EVERYTHING I WOULD.

MY “VERY SHORT & BRIEF” COMMENTS ARE:
1. PLEASE DO SOME RESEARCH, EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE LIVES OF CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS, LITERALLY TALK WITH & KEEP AN OPEN MIND AS TO WHAT THEY/WE ARE TELLING YOU.

SADLY YOUR TOTAL IGNORANCE so you want us to believe AND SHALLOW THINKING ON THIS HUGE & EXCRUCIATING PAINFUL ISSUE IS SHOWING ITSELF, “LOUD & CLEAR!” (You want us to believe that you don’t have or know any CPP’S in your vast circle of family, friends & aquaintenses, I CALL BULL!) SIR WITH THE HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE YOU KNOW COMPARED TO US, I AM CERTAIN YOU KNOW SEVERAL at least one or more may actually be in your Own Family.
2. “TAKE TWO ASPIRIN & TOUGH IT OUT.” WHAT AN UNKIND, UNCARING & CALLOUS REMARK I would be SO ashamed & embarrassed saying that WHERE IS YOUR EMPATHY & CONCERN FOR YOUR FELLOW MAN? DO YOU EVEN HAVE ANY?

*** MR SESSIONS WE ARE “TOUGHING IT OUT” EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!
YES, EVEN WITH THE NOW MUCH SMALLER AMOUNTS OF MEDICATION some of us WE GET, WE ARE, “TOUGHING IT OUT!”
DID YOU GET THAT?? WE ARE, “TOUGHING IT OUT!!” A L L D A Y,
E V E R Y D A Y !!!
BEFORE WE STARTED GETTING CUTS IN OUR MEDICATION, WE WERE, “TOUGHING IT OUT.”
THE OPIATES & OPIOIDS DO NOT TAKE AWAY OUR PAIN. THEY ONLY BARELY “TAKE THE EDGE OFF.” IF ONE IS FORTUNATE IT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE LIFE BEARABLE & LIVEABLE.

“TOUGHING IT OUT” IN MARYLAND 😢

Jenny

Chronic pain patients especially, we can’t afford to sit back and let this insanity affect us any longer. Here’s some info on how to contact your elected government officials. Flood them with letters, emails & phone calls about your personal CHRONIC PAIN experiences. Explain your situation, your thoughts and present your solutions. Don’t sit back and take it! Here’s some help: http://www.usa.gov/content-by-topic (Health. Also scroll down to Government Officials), http://www.usa.gov/complaint-against-government.

It’s obvious AG Jeff Sessions has no brain when it comes to pharmaceuticals for chronic pain. He is ignorant and unfit to be Attorney General. Insurance companies are now dictating what can be prescribed for severe chronic pain. You must be dying or have cancer for your insurance to authorize payment for prescribed opoid doses above 30 MME (Morphine Milaequivalents) per day. They (health insurance companies) will NOT approve prescriptions greater than 30 MME/day DESPITE the dose your doctor writes, regardless of your pain (unless you have cancer or dying). You can ask to pay cash if you can afford it. After 3 hrs on the phone with Anthem BCBS yesterday, that’s exactly what I was told. Insurance now supersedes any MD’s prescription.

This is a travesty and should not be permitted PERIOD. Our government is full of idiots like Jeff Sessions. This situation is an obvious abuse of power by the insurance industry and a travesty of justice by AG Jeff Sessions. He needs to be OUSTED!

Contact your government officials. Don’t sit back and take it. With Jeff Sessions at the helm anyone in PAIN is doomed!

ALSO, file an Insurance Complaint at https://eapps.naic.org/cis/fileComplaintMap.do

WE ALL NEED TO DO THIS!

Denise Farmer

IT’S TIME WE SCREAM AND SCREAM LOUD!! WHEN THEY ARE ALLOWING ILLEGAL DRUG USERS TO HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO SHOOT UP!! AND WE THAT HAVE BEEN SUFFERING TO EVEN OBTAIN OUR LEGAL MEDICATION. KICKED TO THE CURB!! IM SICK OF IT,AND WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND NOW. I HAVE A REPORTER THAT HAS APPROCHED ME, AND WANT’STO KNOW OUR SIDE. HERE IS MY EMAIL SEND ME YOUR NUMBER I WILL PASS IT ON. brokenglass57.df@gmail.com. i am tired of being ignored.

Fred Brown

I recently attended the FDA Opioid Steering Committee meeting on January 30th at the FDA Silver Springs MD facility. Both Richard Lawhern, Ph.D., and I presented our individual presentations to The Steering Committee. We are both members of Alliance for Treatment of Intractable Pain or ATIP.

I would like to lay out several items which I presented to this group which I believe can and does apply to this article about our Attorney General, and others who “know best for the pain patient.”

“Would someone please explain to me, along with members of the audience the following? If I have Diabetes, Heart Disease, or one of many other illnesses, why is there no problem for me being treated by a physician, and given medications if needed?” I further stated, “I live with an illness or disease called Legitimate chronic or Intractable Pain, why am I looked at by many physicians, and pharmacist as someone who is seeking strong opioid medications for the ‘fun of it,’ and thinking I am an addict?”

I have lived with severe chronic pain for twenty plus years due to the result of having four cervical surgeries, which in straightforward language, failed. My post-operative pain is far higher than what the pre-operative was. It was necessary to have these procedures performed to prevent paralysis.

My very well trained Board-Certified, Fellowship Trained pain management doctor has been able to keep me stable with several medications including opioids. Let repeat this; I have been kept stable. Yes, there is a further breakthrough pain, but my physician has used several different procedures to help during this time. I further have continued with a variety of modalities also to remain stable. By the way, some non-opioids had been used before the start of opioid therapy, and those did not work.

I went on and said “Do you believe that I, along with thousands of other legitimate patients should NOT have the right to seek relief if the medications are there to help us? We are American citizens who are part of society in which we live. Is it not INHUMANE for me, and thousands of other patients to suffer without the medications that can best help us?”

In my closing I said “what is going to happen to the legitimate pain patient when both Federal and State agencies say NO to our doctors, they will no longer be able to write the prescriptions necessary to keep their patients stable. Where are these patients to go? Who is going to take responsibility for the further increase of street drugs? Who is going to take responsibility when the suicide rate continues to rise?”

Who will be giving the answers to the physicians and their patients?

Juliette

Enough of GOVERNMENT IN PERSONAL HEALTH CARE.
It’s stepping on numerous constitutional rights that personal and class action lawsuits are a starting point to restructure this ongoing nightmare, death sentence being mandated to CPP.

I recently attended the FDA Opioid Steering Committee meeting on January 30th at the FDA Silver Springs MD facility. Both Richard Lawhern, Ph.D., and I presented our presentations to The Steering Committee. We are both members of Alliance for Treatment of Intractable Pain or ATIP.

I would like to lay out several items which I presented to this group which I believe can and does apply to this article about our Attorney General, and others who “know best for the pain patient.”

“Would someone please explain to me, along with members of the audience the following? If I have Diabetes, Heart Disease, or one of many other illnesses, why is there no problem for me being treated by a physician, and given medications if needed?” I further stated, “I live with an illness or disease called Legitimate chronic or Intractable Pain, why am I looked at by many physicians, and pharmacist as someone who is seeking strong opioid medications for the ‘fun of it,’ and thinking I am an addict?”

I have lived with severe chronic pain for twenty plus years due to the result of having four cervical surgeries, which in straightforward language, failed. My post-operative pain is far higher than what the pre-operative was. It was necessary to have these procedures performed to prevent paralysis.

My very well trained Board-Certified, Fellowship Trained pain management doctor has been able to keep me stable with several medications including opioids. Let repeat this; I have been kept stable. Yes, there is a further breakthrough pain, but my physician has used several different procedures to help during this time. I further have continued with a variety of modalities also to remain stable. By the way, some non-opioids had been used before the start of opioid therapy, and those did not work.

I went on and said “Do you believe that I, along with thousands of other legitimate patients should NOT have the right to seek relief if the medications are there to help us? We are American citizens who are part of society in which we live. Is it not INHUMANE for me, and thousands of other patients to suffer without the medications that can best help us?”

In my closing I said “what is going to happen to the legitimate pain patient when both Federal and State agencies say NO to our doctors, they will no longer be able to write the prescriptions necessary to keep their patients stable. Where are these patients to go? Who is going to take responsibility for the further increase of street drugs? Who is going to take responsibility when the suicide rate continues to rise?”

Who will be giving the answers to the physicians and their patients?

Brad B

Sessions is nothing but a cartoon character. When I hear him talking …I sit in disbelief what comes out of this man mouth. Give it a couple weeks and he will be leaving this recent group of stupidity in the White House. I heard him speaking about the legalizing of marijuana and I knew this little man was crazy stupid.

I am in tears. Thank you. You said everything I have been screaming at the top of my lungs, and so much more eloquently.
I will never feel safe enough to go to a doctor again, not after what I have learned the medical system does to people that, in my opinion, is nothing short of human experimentation, and we pay for it with our lives.
All I want is to be able to live my life, not without pain, but comfortable enough to be reasonably productive. I want to have control over my health and my body, without the government treating me like a criminal if I need medication for the pain THEY PUT ME IN. And if I choose to use holistic means to address my pain, such as cannabis and kratom, I should be able to, without fear of incarceration.
Until these issues are addressed, this disaster is never going to get better.

HAZZY

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT DAVID, IT MADE ME HALLUCINATE !!!!! COBALT IS NASTY

RigidPrinciples

After having time to think about this, I hope everyone is looking at this issue broadly enough. From a principle perspective, this issue is about so much more than kratom. The question folks really need to be asking is, “In the United States, where we uniquely have inalienable, individual, inherent rights, how does any level of government believe they have the privilege to legislate what we can, or can’t, put in, or take out, of our own bodies which are our own sovereign nations?” While it is a little flattering they want to protect us, the bottom line is it is outside any government’s jurisdiction. Before We can thoroughly educate the FDA/DEA/Trump, We ourselves must understand the roots of this tyranny. The government has always known it doesn’t have the privilege to make plants illegal. They tried with the 18th amendment, but they quickly learned the 2nd amendment trumped the 18th amendment. After passing the 21st amendment in 1933, less than a year later, in knowing they did not have the privilege to make machine guns illegal, they simply perverted the 16th amendment, and passed legislation stating in order to possess a machine gun, you first needed a tax stamp from Congress, which they printed few of. This Jedi mind trickery was only possible because the People were docile after the 21st amendment. This single act set the stage for the tyranny We see today from the FDA. As in 1937, the government passed the Marihuana Tax Act, stating in order to possess marijuana, you first needed a tax stamp from Congress, where they simply didn’t print any stamps. This is the basis for how our government originally overstepped its bounds. We have to fight the tyranny at the root. We the People would never stand for that outright tyranny in 2018. Could you imagine? Sure you can exercise your 5th amendment, but first you need to possess a 5th amendment tax stamp, and sorry we aren’t printing any. Technically, via precedent, our government feels they have that privilege. Unfortunately, since the original shenanigans were in the 1930s, everyone just feels it’s always been like this, and that the government can do whatever they would like. Our government needs taught otherwise, and We the People must accept our responsibilities. Fear is the only motivator for a tyrannical government. If they’re not looking over their shoulders, then we’re not doing it right. Scared, not smug, they must be, in order for We the People to win this war of our generation. This war is more crucial than Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or North Korea. This war is on our own soil. Right in front of our eyes. In war, it is kosher for both sides to fight. What war has ever been won by a People who sit back and cross their fingers the attackers will just not be evil? Where only one side takes up arms against the other? We could try putting flowers down the barrels that will certainly… Read more »

Tim Mason

Warning label on NSAIDs like aspirin and others: Use caution if 60 or older. Risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers.
This man is clueless.

Mr Sessions is obviously CLUELESS about the benefits of Cannabis……..it is good for almost whatever ails you (like my chronic pain) Either he has never experienced any of the many ills that are cured by Cannabis or is too bullheaded to care!

JeanineS

This is not a plan by Sessions…..its denial. Its denial that real pain exists and for more than a few hrs. Cannibis simply does not work for many people and neither does Kratom. “Take an aspirin and tough it out” will either put many pain patients in bed permanently or be a death sentence.

I say DRUG TEST EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON CAPITAL HILL
Then let’s talk about pain medicine and marijuana and alcohol.
I am drug tested every 3 months to obtain my pain meds
Not allowed to have marijuana
Alcohol
Or any other drugs but the ones I am prescribed

Dear attorney Jeff sessions
Are you trying to tell us that not one person in the US government gets pain medicine?
Not one person has crippling chronic pain?
Not one person smokes weed?
Not one person self medicates with alcohol or drugs?
Tired if being lumped together with the stupid junkies who put needles in their arms and die from that decision..
Nobody would wish chronic pain on anyone…
Jeff sessions needs to get real and be stopped from creating a death sentence for chronic pain patients